Meet The Richardsons amongst Broadcast Digital Awards winners

Wednesday 6th July 2022, 9:50am


The winners of the Broadcast Digital Awards, the trade magazine awards for non-terrestrial programming, has been announced.

Best Comedy Programme

Meet The Richardsons. Image shows from L to R: Jon (Jon Richardson), Lucy (Lucy Beaumont)

Meet The Richardsons

Jon Richardson and Lucy Beaumont's Dave sitcom was selected ahead of Brassic, Jerk, Ladhood, Starstruck and The Stand Up Sketch Show as the winner in the Best Comedy Programme category.

Broadcast says: "'Lovable', 'well-crafted' and 'genuinely original' were amongst the accolades bestowed upon the third season of Meet The Richardsons. Despite being hard to pin down in terms of genre, its elements of mock-doc, reality and sitcom are all cleverly used to form a strong, enduring connection with the audience.

"One judge said the Second Act production 'allows viewers to feel part of the show,' while another praised its 'fresh, clever and funny' format. Across the board it was appreciated for its ability to hit a high gag rate whilst delving into truths about human relationships and centring on two flawed, yet lovable, characters.

"This is achieved party due to a unique writing process where a normal sitcom script is accompanied by a beat sheet allowing the performers to improvise whilst heading in the direction the story needs to go.

"This series benefitted from more star quality with the introduction of David and Georgia Tennant who play the 'celebrity couple' who want to steal their show. Consolidating to 525k adults after seven days, and capturing 3% share, the series catapulted Dave to the number one non-terrestrial channel across the timeslot.

"Critics have remained warm to Meet The Richardsons, with The Times saying 'the line between fact and fantasy is blurred so well that you often have to remind yourself this is a sitcom.'"

Best Entertainment Programme

Race Around Britain. Munya Chawawa

Race Around Britain

Comedian Munya Chawawa's YouTube was selected as winner in the Entertainment category, in a shortlist that also featured Never Mind The Buzzcocks.

Broadcast noted: "The unique and genre-busting format combines elements of travelogue, chat show and sketch comedy, and gave young black talent such as Yung Filly, Harry Pinero and Nella Rose a much-needed platform through which to share their personal experiences.

"A diverse production team also helped to ensure the show hit on the most recent and relevant developments and conversations surrounding black issues - for example, examining the impact of the Welsh government's decision to include the teaching of black, Asian and minority ethnic histories in its national curriculum.

"'Funny, thought-provoking and relevant,' said one judge, while another described it as 'a genuinely entertaining take on serious topics'.

"The judges also praised Chawawa as a 'shining new talent' and were impressed by the low cost of such a 'brilliantly produced' format."

Best Popular Factual Programme

Big Zuu's Big Eats. Image shows from L to R: Hyder, Big Zuu, Tubsey

Big Zuu's Big Eats

Another win for Big Zuu, and Dave.

"The second series of Big Zuu's Big Eats was even more warmly received than the debut run, with the launch episode up 34% on series one and the seven-day audience average up 63%. With demand for his mouth-watering food also on the rise, Zuu travelled even further afield to feed stars including Maya Jama, Mo Gilligan and Rob Delaney.

"The Muslim grime artist is not your typical chef, bringing a fresh energy and love of dishes from all over the world, delivered in his own unique style. In the words of Zuu himself: 'Where else would you see three Muslim brothers making bagels in a food truck?'

"The judges praised the show's representation of ethnic and working-class talent, as well as its great use of edit and language. 'To see Big Zuu and Harry Redknapp connecting over Sierra Leone Plantain recipes and wally gravy is well worth a prize', said one judge. One judge who is Muslim said it was a show they wished had existed when they were younger: 'It's so good it's finally here'.

"Zuu's larger-than-life personality and infectious warmth were also praised, along with his ability to reach audiences that are not familiar with grime. 'Dave should be very proud that three first-generation Brits of Muslim heritage have been embraced by the hearts and stomachs of such a growing following', said another judge."

Best Short Form Scripted

Zen Motoring. Ivan Battaliero-Owen

Zen Motoring

The BBC Three format starring Ogmios won in the shortform category.

Broadcast explains: "Blending elements of scripted comedy with real-life moments, Zen School Of Motoring combines dash-cam footage drama with YouTube rap battles, pigeon perspective and meditation. 'Original, weird, brilliant and full of heart', said one judge, while another described it as 'pushing the format and super imaginative'.

"The show offers viewers a fusion of the everyday and the impossible, from Benjamin Zephaniah running a rap-battle cult in a forest to robot delivery trucks becoming self-aware and a funeral for a Vauxhall Corsa. The programme also prides itself on its kindness, reframing trips through urban traffic that can be the cause of stress and confrontation to journeys of self-discovery, reflection and generosity.

"'Compelling in its simplicity, but more than that, it is the perfect, kind and gentle antidote to an angry and often hostile world', said one judge. 'Should be compulsory viewing for all angry drivers.'

"Born on YouTube as simple dash-cam footage, the short-form series was shepherded and expanded for the BBC by a devoted team."

Best Short Form Format

Drunk History

Drunk History - Black Stories

Comedy Central's revival of its Drunk History format for a YouTube series celebrating black talent and recognising the valuable contribution of black culture won in the Short Form category.

The winning notes say: "A crew including Stephané Alexandre, Femi Oyeniran and Dreaming Whilst Black creator Adjani Salmon produced and directed six episodes about historical figures and artefacts: Yaa Asentewaa, the Sons of Africa, Mary Seacole, the Benin Bronzes, Len Johnson and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

"Host Rapman was joined by black comedians to recount the stories ,which were then re-enacted and dubbed.

"Our judges praised the 'high production values' of the re-constructed sequences and the 'great host and talent' for the 'comical' and 'entertaining' way they conveyed the stories.

"'It is a celebration of black unsung heroes and black history', said one judge, while another called it 'a perfectly executed version of the format'.

"Optimised for YouTube, the series launched with a promotional campaign comprising shareable quizzes, GIFs and quote posts, as well as blooper packages offering a peek behind the scenes. It has amassed 3.5 million views on YouTube since airing in April 2021.

Best Digital Children's Content

Dodo. Copyright: Wildseed Studios

Dodo

The animated sitcom on the Sky Kids platform was selected in the category for children.

The organisers note: "First-time director Jack Bennett is the architect of the animated series designed to help children make the leap from primary to secondary school. Based on Bennett's award-winning graduation film, Not The End Of The World, the 20-part series follows Joe as he navigates the dramas and pitfalls of Year 7 and tries to fit in, make new friends - and even lose his school trousers.

"The show's deadpan humour and emotional and relatable storylines, culled from the creative team's personal experiences, set the show apart from the competition, while providing an opportunity for parents and their children to discuss issues that are likely to arise as they transition out of primary education.

"Kaiser Chiefs frontman, The Voice UK judge and former art teacher Ricky Wilson provides Joe's voice, supported by a cast including comedian Mark Watson, Connor Swindells (Sex Education) and Ellie Kendrick (Game Of Thrones).

"One judge said everyone can see a little bit of Joe Connelly in themselves: 'Seeing a 12-year-old boy struggle in middle school is relatable to all'."

Best Drama Programme

Landscapers. Image shows from L to R: Susan (Olivia Colman), Christopher (David Thewlis)

Landscapers

Sky comedy drama Landscapers won in the prestigious drama category.

The awards said: "Based on an extraordinary true story, [production company] Sister's visually striking drama captures both the fascinating love story of Susan and Christopher Edwards and the shocking murder of Susan's parents, whose bodies were discovered in the couple's back garden.

"The four-part drama follows the investigation into the deeply unusual case, with the judges lauding the 'terrific performances' from stars Olivia Coleman and David Thewlis in a series that was executed with humour and Sky Atlantic's characteristic cinematic feel."


Elsewhere in the awards, channel Dave won Best Digital Support for a Strand, for its "witty, self-deprecating" social media channels; whilst CBBC comedy drama Dodger was highly commended, being described as "great fun with a big heart".

CBBC was announced as Channel Of The Year. The full results across all categories can be seen on broadcastnow.co.uk

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